Walking in Love

2020-03-22 – Year A – Lent 4 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas

Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:1-14; John 9:1-13, 28-38

  • I was able to get out of the house yesterday to go for a walk. It was wonderful!
  • In Ephesians, Paul uses the imagery of walking to talk about our lives as Christians.

Walk as Children of the Light

  • Ephesians 5:8-11
    • Light and darkness is used as a metaphor here for the old life of sin (darkness) and new life in Christ. It is also similar to the image of blindness and sight in the Gospel of John and in Amazing Grace.
    • As Christians, we are supposed to walk in the light and stay out of the darkness that formerly defined our lives.
    • Paul singles out two kinds of sin in particular. Ephesians 5:4-5. Both of these have particular temptations that we may face during social distancing.
  • Sexual immorality
    • Pornography could be a temptation when you spend a lot of time alone.
    • Help is available, even without leaving the house.
    • When we come to Jesus in repentance he will always forgive. That is why he died on the cross, to pay the penalty for us!
    • Repentance vs. Defiance
  • Covetousness (idolatry)
    • It may be tempting to long for what you don’t have in this season.
    • Covetousness is “jealous longing for what others possess” (Ex. 20:17)
    • Maybe you are out of work and someone else has a job.
    • Maybe you are lonely and others are surrounded by family.
    • Paul equates covetousness with idolatry because it is putting our desire on things that cannot truly satisfy. The grass is always greener on the other side!
    • Augustine, “our hearts are restless till they find their rest in Thee.”
    • Press into God! Read your Bible, pray, read devotional literature.

Walk Carefully

  • Making the most of the time. Ephesians 5:15-17.
  • Idleness is a significant temptation, especially when we are home.
  • If you are working from home, make sure you are being faithful to your employer and be diligent to fulfill your work obligations.
  • If you have extra time on your hands, find ways to glorify God.
    • There is nothing wrong with watching the news, reading blogs, playing Sudoku, or watching videos so long as the programs fulfill Paul’s criteria in Philippians 4:8. But do so in moderation.
    • Is watching videos and playing Sudoku the BEST use of your time?
  • So what SHOULD we do?

Walk in Love

  • Ephesians 5:1-2
    • Not a general instruction to love, but specific. As Christ loved us.
    • Sacrificial love.
  • Loving our church family
    • What WE are doing
      • Keeping each other healthy by suspending in-person gatherings
      • Most of our weekly programs have been reimagined online
      • Phone Connection Team
    • What YOU can do
      • Pray.
      • Stay home.
      • Reach out to a church “buddy”
      • Write notes.
      • Run errands for those who are unable to leave the house (nothing face to face, leave whatever it is outside the door).
  • Loving our neighbors
    • Vision Statement: Loving our neighbors and helping them to find God, love God, and share God.
    • What WE are doing
      • “Flattening the curve”
      • Online worship is potentially more accessible to non-Christians.
      • I know we have had people from other churches join us for worship virtually from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and even Germany!
      • Food giveaway to help those in need. Please don’t come unless you have been asked to do so and you are not sick.
    • What YOU can do
      • Stay home. Especially if you are sick!
      • Reach out to your neighbors to encourage them.
        • Offer to run errands for people who can’t leave home.
      • Give blood.
      • Call a nursing home and ask if there are ways you could encourage residents at a distance.
      • Send encouraging cards to local hospitals, doctors offices, and urgent care facilities. Let the staff know you are praying for them.
      • Donate food to our food giveaway, especially canned items. Donate money and we will send someone to buy for you.
      • Call your loved ones.
  • What else can we do? Share ideas in the comments: fb.com/goodsamaritananglican.

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